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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  December 16, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST

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hans hope and the insurgents lack of
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hope because there's not going to be daytime in the long term. and i turn it over to karl. >> thanks, congressman. first of all, on the threat financing, we have a very integrated robust effort within afghanistan and outside afghanistan an integrated effort which includes our intelligence agencies, department of treasury, our military, diplomatic efforts. i also want to highlight that within afghanistan itself, our department of treasury agents on the ground are actually building within the afghan ministry of finance and within their central bank, their own independent threat finance xapabilities. we're mentoring with them and they're starting to get some impressive results. secondly, with regard to the emphasis that you place on the date, july 2011, the transition date, i'm absolutely in line with general mcchrystal and how we look at this.
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afghanistan, they've -- they have a lot of insecurity based on their people. their people are insecure people based on their history, based on other nations withdrawing their support over time. they live in a very uncertain neighborhood. so they have an ambivalence about the long-term presence of the united states. they want us here because of that insecurity. but increasingly, they want to stand up and take charge of their own security. that was reflect indeed president karzai's speech. his own aspirations were to stand up and be in charge of its own security with army and police. so 2011, i agree with general mcchrystal, it's a good date to get the afghans moving forward and president karzai has shown that publicly. >> the time has expired. the gentleman from north carolina, mr. miller. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have set am bashs goals for training and equipping afghan
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saerm and police forces. but it remains a weak government. you said earlier much of afghanistan is ungoverned still. having a weak government and strong military frequently leads to unhappy results in many parts of the world. we've also had at best mixed success in trying to build a military as a unifying national institution in nations that don't have a strong national identity. we try to do that in iraq. and it appeared that we effectively armed and equipped every side in the sectarian civil war. the video, the cell phone video, the execution of saddam hussein and the taunting by the shia militia did us great damage, created the impression that was
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a sectarian revenge killing, not the execution of justice in a society with a legitimate rule of law. what is the desertion rate now? where are those folks going? how are we going to make sure that the military we build is not going to dominate the government and how are we making sure we're not training and ee equipmenting the forces provided for war lords in a short time? >> i think it's important that i start with the fact that one of the things afghans fear most is militias and war lords. there will be security forces that form in afghanistan whether we form them or not. they will form in their own defense. and i think that it's important we form a national army and national police capacity, a recognized legitimate defense security apparatus or the vacuum will be filled by exactly what the afghans fear, which is a
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return to strong militias that in many cases are ethnic cally based. they don't expect the same things from their central government that many western nations do. they expect less. but they do have an absolute sense of being afghans before they are any other ethnic or local identity. they take huge pride in the afghan national army. even though it is still a developing entity, they would like to be secured. when i talk to afghan elders, they thank us for being there and say, we'd like to be secured by the afghan national army. we're proud of them. but we will welcome you just until they're strong enough to do it. so i think rather than being a threat to the government of afghanistan, i think it's a major source of credibility as they go forward. now, clearly it has to stay under civilian control. and i've seen no indications
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that that is not likely to be the situation. i'd ask the ambassador do jump in. >> thanks, congressman. my views are the same as general mcchrystal on this. the afghan national army was first all ethnic and all national, and indeed it is. it is a symbol of pride for the afghan people. it's a sign of hope that this country, after 30 years of warfare, and fighting, can come together. the afghan national army is a manifestation of that. secondly, the principles were good principles inspired by us. and that was that this military would be under civilian control and it would respect the rule of law, respect the people. i believe very much that those principles are still in place. >> what is the desertion rate? i've heard it is 25%. what is the desertion rate? >> congressman, i'll get you that for the record. it's not that high.
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one of the things about desertion, many of the young afghans who enlisted in the army go home because there's not yet a good leave policy established. we're still working through issues of how they are paid. electronic is clearly the wave of the future. in many cases they go home to take pay or see family. great sense of family there. and a significant percentage come back. so it is a significant problem. i don't want you to believe that it's not, but it is something that is less clear than it might be in another army. >> i'll take the cue from my colleagues and yield back with the chairman. >> i thank the gentleman. we've had a little misunderstanding. my intention always was every member gets to ask questions, alternating between democrat and republican. we're now at the point where we're treating these two
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hearings as one where every member of the republican conference on the committee who is here has had a chance to ask a question. a number of democrats have not yet had to. it was my intention to proceed so everyone gets to ask -- have time before we go back to alternating. but we did not make that clear with the minority. so the compromise i would propose is we alternate but those ask the question get one minute for statement and we go back to the others. in the future it would be the intent that these rights are individual more than group and that every member should get a chance to question before we go back to the alternating. and at this point i will recognize the ranking member for a minute. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. i would like to yield my minute and he can add his own minute to
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mr. burton of indiana. thank you, mr. chairman. >> there was a question asked a while ago about the international court and both witnesses said they would get back to us on that. there was a story that they wrote a book about. have you heard of, let's see, petty officer marcus lieu troe. he was on a mission. he was supposed to kill an al qaeda leader. he ran into two people and a boy. they couldn't decide whether they should kill them or not because they were afraid it would alert the taliban to their mission and they would all be killed. they decide after an argument, lieu trel said we trust them they won't say anything. 15 minutes later, 200 of the taliban and the al qaeda came across, killed him, killed his partners and left him for dead. 16 navy s.e.a.l.s came in the
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helicopter. they killed all 16. we have three navy s.e.a.l.s on trial right now. how do you say to these troops sent on a mission to kill an al qaeda leader? should they have killed the three people? should they have killed them on the spot so they wouldn't alert the enemy they were going over the hill? would they have been court-martialed by the united states? here we are court-martialing three guys who in operation amber attacked one of the leaders and arrested him, turned him over to the iraqi military. they said they smackeded him in the mouth. and you're court-martialing. it makes no sense. you're the general in charge and you're the ambassador. i talked to the chairman of the joint chiefs and i don't
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understand why somebody would say this is baloney. >> ambassador watson is recognized for five minutes. >> i want to thank our two witnesses for the service to our country. and the image that you serve to fill abroad. i want to thank you for your experience and wish you well. now, my question goes to the africa africans. in the eight years that we've been involved and more, what is it that is lacking in their government and their experience and their commitment to their own where they could not train their people to stand up and defend their own country? let me start with the ambassador first. >> well, there's been -- congressman, first, there has been extraordinary progress that
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has been made. >> hold. >> how many years has it been and how many years will it take to train them? you see, i'm looking ahead, too. that's why i asked this question. and i'm looking at our financial commitment to be there at a time of growing deficit. you know, how long do we have to commit for them to bring their defense force up where they can protect their own country? >> congressman, i'll turn to general mcchrystal. the president's strategy is very clear in that regard. >> i want you to tell me in your experience what is with the afghans where they don't seem to be able to succeed on their own. >> congresswoman, we are succeeding. they've had great success. >> then why do we have to have additional forces? >> well, the context over the
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last eight years, congresswoman, is this mission over the last eight years, until ream, has never received the adequate resources needed. >> i'm not talking about our resources. i'm talking about their own. >> congresswoman, starting where they were in 2001 and 2002, we're talking about a country that had been at war for 30 years, two generations of afghans without education. >> let me stop you there because i'm watching my time. general mcchrystal, you've asked for additional forces to go in. we're giving a great deal, the lives of our military, our finances to a country that operates based on war and they can't seem to bring their people to a point where they can defend their own nation. we're shedding blood, limbs, and
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building a tremendous deficit that will probably never be closed in my lifetime. what is the element that is missing among their own people? >> congressman, i agree with ambassador eikenberry. that is a society literally torn apart for 30 years, the governance. they die the a higher rate than coalition forces now. >> i would hope. you know, why do we have to be the international police? and that's what i don't get. with iraq and now with afghanistan, maybe papakistan, maybe iran. but there's something in their psyche. and what i think is happening is that we are fighting an ideology rather than at the end of a gun kind of thing.
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and i don't know if we knock out every taliban village and kill them all if that ideology doesn't continue among the taliban and spreads in the area. i don't know how we identify as they go over their boundary lines into other areas. are we having to maintain a force there in perpetuity? general? >> i don't think we will. i think we need a strategic partnership to reassure the afghan people. but they want to defend themselves. what they want is time and space and opportunity to build their nation. >> well, and i'm going to give you back my time, mr. chairman. i don't see any end to it. if we're going to put our people on the front line and put the resources behind, why would they put up? you know? i just think there's a lack somewhere in their ideology
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that, you know, we need you to help us defend ourselves. and so i'd rather invest the money elsewhere than there. i yield back. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> thank you. mr. chairman, let me just note for the record that i am very disturbed with a policy that has ended up with giving me one minute to express my opinions and to ask questions in this very important hearing considering my background on afghanistan. so i'm sorry. i apologize to the two witnesses. i'm going to say some things and i have to say it quickly. number one, 30,000 troops, more troops in afghanistan means $30 billion more a year. my experience in afghanistan tells me for a small portion of that we could buy the allegiance. we could earn the goodwill through payments to tribal leaders and village leaders throughout that country without putting anybody at risk.
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number one, i'd like your reaction to that? number two, general, your statements about afghans fearing militias is disturbing to me, dramatically disturbing. militias are nothing more than all the male children in their villages. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes. >> i thank the chairman. and want to welcome both the ambassador and the general to this committee. and indicate that at least speaking for this democrat, i am generally supportive of the policy that is emerging from the white house. after your deliberations, having been to afghanistan, i believe that there are large spots in the country that are not sufficiently secure and the introduction of additional troops could make a dispositive
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difference. i don't think this is like vietn vietnam. and i think the president, our new president, deserves the benefit of the doubt, at least at this time in history. having said that, the policy deliberations were a little unusual. general mcchrystal, the paper you wrote got leaked in advance of the president convening formal review in deliberations. and ambassador eikenberry, your memo, or in the old days we would call it a telegram, got leaked. they represented seem ily very different points of view. what do you think about developing foreign policy by leaking and counterleaking and what you think we should learn from that experience. >> thanks. congressman, i'll go first. the review that the president led was an extraordinary review. it was very open. it was a deliberative process. everyone that participated was
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encouraged freely to provide their analysis and best advice. we did that through video teleconferences, face-to-face meetings and in writing. the leaks that occurred are absolutely regrettable. now, against that, my own views, during this process i wanted to emphasize, congressman, at no time did i ever oppose additional troops being sent to afghanistan. indeed, i fully shared and share general mcchrystal's assessment, as he had written, security in certain parts of the country was deteriorating. against that, the only way then to move forward with regard to troops is additional troops who need to deal with the security issues. >> i'm going to come back to you on part two of governance. i take your point.
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general mcchrystal, would you like to respond? >> the leaks made our job harder. the differences between our views were not very large at all. but selected leaks made it look like they were. we were shoulder to shoulder on this thing throughout. and i absolutely regret the leaks. >> good. okay. thank you. let me go back, then, i think where you were headed, ambassador, you talked about the desire of afghanis to have some kind of government that functions in a particular way that protects the security. mr. ambassador, you express some skepticism about the current circumstances to be able to meet that kind of threshold. i want to give you both an opportunity to talk about it. some of the skepticism is we're back on a government that is seen as frankly organize thuggery. it's corrupt. frankly, the taliban, unfortunately, is an effective alternative.
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i'd like your comments. >> we both share the importance of the need for a legitimate government respected by its people, credible. we have two challenges on this side. the afghans have two challenges. we do have a lot to build upon. there's good functioning ministries. programs moving forward are well focused. our greater challenge is at the local level. the area where general mcchrystal's force sxmts afghan national army are dealing with areas with insecurity in the east and the south. we're working closely with the afghan government and military to try to develop the right kind of combinations of service, delivery and governance that as security is brought to a provincial area or district, that's shortly behind that, government can start to take hold.
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service delivery can take hold. i don't want to underestimate the challenge we're facing in this category. president karzai's inauguration address that he gave several weeks ago, it does show some promise. of course we're waiting for action now. >> germ, 12 seconds. >> i agree with ambassador eikenberry and i yield back. >> the time of the gentleman has been expired. the gentleman from california has been recognized for one minute. >> thank you, general. i want to second my colleague's concern about the treatment of the three navy s.e.a.l.s facing a court-martial for actions taken while apprehending four security guards. court-martial is very serious business. i don't think it had to be this way. what alternative actions might still be taken in formal councils, nonpunitive, letter of reprimand? the point i want to make is there's ways to deal with this
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issue, assuming there is an issue at all, far short of court-martial. >> and secondly, will they be given the opportunity to be restored to full fitness and duty, will they be sfard a black mark which has a harmful effect on morale? >> that incident happened in iraq, so appropriately i don't have the details, nor do i have any responsibility. it would be inappropriate for me to talk about that case. i do believe, however, that the chain of command and the process has been extraordinarily good across the services in providing fair hearings for people. >> the time of the general has expired. >> they their krr their future hope also, education, health
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care, roads and sewer systems. and terrorism thrives in areas where the citizens believe that they are being occupied by outside forces. i'm concerned about the lack of focus on the civilian surge in this regard because i think that is the balance to what being an occupier requires. in his speech at west point, the president dedicated most of his time to military might. and he just only once mentioned the civilian side of the equation. you both have said and other leaders in the military and throughout the dramatic core really agree one major way to secure stability is through
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smart security where we win the hearts and the minds of the civil yansz. and we're talking about afghanistan right now, of course. so i ask you, what resources are currently being dedicated. you said a little bit about that to smart security. in the years to come, what additional resources do you need and how will the administration approach this smart approach over a military solution, and will a smart approach ever be able to win over military. i'll start with you, mr. ambassador. >> congresswoman, the president's strategy has been clear that the military effort is a necessary effort. it is not a sufficient effort. ultimately, an economy that allows afghanistan to be a sustainable -- to have a sustainable country all important. i do believe that the
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president's strategy and the way we're going about the implementation does address the essential government services that are needed, essential pieces of the economy. i'll quickly mention agriculture. we see the absolute need for agriculture to help improve security. >> let me just interrupt a minute because you did say this and i really respected it. but tell us where our civilian surge will come. of course we want the afghani civilians to do all this. how will our civilians help? how many? >> first of all, congresswoman, the civilian surge has been ongoing. we're soon to triple our presence over the world in the past over the past year. the surge is not something we're ready to launch. we're going to add to our capabilities on the ground. our areas of emphasis are focused on what's necessary in the economy, in the areas of
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agriculture. we're focused in the key areas of government developing further rule of law, helping the afghans for more revenue collection. >> let me interrupt one more minute because we only get a little bit of time. we know we're spending 30,000 troops. are we talking a tripling of the surge from one to three people or 100 to 300? >> at the start of this year, before the president announced his strategy in march, reflecting the underresourcing of afghanistan, we had 300 in afghanistan. we will have 1,000 and we're
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continuing to grow. it's an all-government effort. department of treasury is on the ground. department of agriculture. drug enforcement administration. federal aviation administration. department of state. usaid. this is truly an impressivest. >> okay. general? >> the one point i would make, when you talk about military it may not look like what you traditionally think. we have military partnered with his. we're doing agricultural development, enabling civilian expertise. i think it's key we understand we're trying trying to do this with every part of our capacity that we have. >> thank you very much. >> the time of the general has expired. >> thank you, gentlemen, for appearing today. mr. ambassador, appreciate your emphasis on agricultural
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development. i think that's noteworthy. before my question, i want you all to succeed. the down side, gravity of the down side to not succeeding is very apparent. with that said, mr. ambassador, and this was touched upon a moment ago, your key to president obama as well as the potential for success of our military efforts. what changed? >> i wouldn't decide my views as pessimistic. concerns expressed. with the president's decision, we have a refined mission. resources matched against that and a properly combination of ways, ends and means, i'm confident as we move forward, congressman. >> the gentlelady from california -- from texas is
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recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for convening this hearing in the way you've done it. you've been true to your word. i thank you for your leadership. let me thank both distinguished public servants. i had a chance to greet them and i want to thank them again for their service. it was good to see both of you in uniform today, ambassador. it was good to see you, general, in iraq. of course you know that i visited afghanistan. today the president received the nobel peace prize. and i salute him and believe anymore that he is a man of peace. he defined for those esteemed audience members a question of a just war. but let me quickly say to you that i believe that we have a major dilemma, and i would call for as i speak right now an immediate beginning of negotiations to end this conflict. and that would be the only way that i could concede the possibility of any troops being added to afghanistan.
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and i'll tell you why. i'd like to submit it to the record very quickly an article by jonathan gadoney, lessons from the soviet occupation in the united states. do i have concept? let me indicate what came out of that article, which is so true. the afghan government urgedly needed to establish legitimacy. ethnic tensions were unestimated. afghans were intolerant of foreign troop occupation and a military solution was proven not sufficient. the vietnam war in 1966 saw 200,000 troops committed to vietn vietnam. at the peak of the war, 543,of our treasure lost. general, the cia has indicated that afghanistan is 4,000 feet versus up in the air versus iraq that is flat. you asked for 40,000 troops. we've got 30,000. what is your commitment to
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protect troops as they travel up into those mountains and to save lives? >> my commitment is absolute. our rules of engagement provide them every responsibility and right to defend themselves. we believe that the equipment we're providing them is as good as we can and we will continue to do that better. i will push for every asset we need to protect there will be. >> i thank you for that. i think the terrain is so difficult. it brings to mind the pat tillman story that opportunities for friendly fire and loss of life are heightened. there is a theory of clear, whole, build and transfer. president karzai today said this week with secretary gates that it will be 15 years before he can maintain a military with his own resources. ambassador, why are we engaged with a country of which we have great appreciation and want to see helped with political help and social help and economic help and constitutional help and helping to make sure they treat
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their women right and keep their schools open. how are we going to in essence fight against this concept that afghans do not want foreigners on their soil and have a government that says it will take 15 to 20 years before they can maintain their own military? that's 15 to 20 years that the united states will have to be there guarding them. why can't we go the political and social and economic route. ambassador? >> congresscoupwoman, afghans f and foremost do want to take control of their own sovereignty. we have to appreciate the baseline they begin at, and you have already articulated that. the afghans, though they need security right now to help them get the time and space so they can fully take charge, i think we're on a good path forward as we see our articulation of this july 2011 timeline where the afghans will start to move and
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take responsibility for security. president karzai clear in his inauguration speech about his own goals. but we have to be clear. the afghans beyond that period of time, they are going to need our assistance. >> let me have a quick intervention, please, if you don't mind this. article says by the time the soviets realize only a political solution could end the conflict they have lost the ability to negotiate. ambassador, what is the strategy for going in now and getting the parties to sit down and be engaged with karzai, war lords, taliban, this government and nato, where are we now sitting down and beginning the negotiation to hanover the responsibility stot to the afgh government. are we doing that as we speak. >> we have a very clear way ahead right now as afghans develop national security force capability. we have a clear plan politically. president karzai has made clear in his inauguration speech he
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would like to move forward with reconciliation with taliban leaders, with taliban fighters. and we're working in support right now to help achieve those. >> he needs to do that now. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. pakistan has always been the epicenter of this war on terror, al qaeda's safe haven. khalid shaikh mohammed. the isi has not been a good one. they tend to side with the extremists and help us with high-valued targets. has this improved? what do you plan to work better with the pakistan intelligence service? >> congressman, my official responsibility ends at the borders of afghanistan. we do, however, have a close relationship with the pakistani military so we build up with a partnership against problems on both sides of the border.
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it still has a long way to go. i'm absolutely committee to improve in that so our shared strategic goals are met. >> thank you. and what is the influence of iran in afghanistan right now? >> it's both positive and negative. there are a number of positive things they do economically and culturally. there's always a threat they may bring illicit or inappropriate influence in, and we watch for that. >> thank you, general. >> translator: time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. good hearing. it's timely. i thank both of you for your service to the country. mr. ambassador, a lot has been discussed about metrics and milestones. and on the ledger of our milestones and the afghan, the karzai government's milestones as we try to achieve these metrics, one of the early, i
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think, determinations as to whether or not they're achieving them is in the name of his cabin cabinet. the defense minister is leaving and another minister is leaving as well, i've heard. and whether or not president karzai is able to turn the page, it seems to me it's going to be evident in these early appointments. when will they be completed and what's your sense of that process? i mean, will we be able to determine, for example, by the end of january when he finishes that process how that milestone has been achieved? >> congressman, the president karzai in his inauguration speech that was attended bisect clinton, he made a commitment to the appointment of qualified, responsible individuals in his administration. >> and the proof is in the pudding. >> it is.
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it was interesting, congressman, when he said that he got a spontaneous round of applause from the afghans in attendance. it's the afghans who have high expectations. well to, answer your specific question, we expect cabinet announcements to be soon in the next several days before the parliament goes on recess. >> so we should get a good judgment here very soon as it relates to the cabinet? >> yes. >> and how does that follow through to the governors, some that have been closely associated, we believe, with this trade? >> we believe, congressman, that after the initial announcements of cabinet members, subsequently there will be changes to the cabinet members. i would like to emphasize that the cabinet of afghanistan, president karzai's cabinet has a lot of very well-qualified
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people, finance, commerce, agriculture, education, health. these are world-class ministers. they're challenged because they don't have the human capital right now -- >> we're working on that? because of my time, i want to shift over. general mcchrystal, we talk about the army and the police force and the training that's taking place there. and i don't want to get into a discussion of semantics. but i think part of this whole effort is akin to nation building because you're not going to be able to have a solid military or a police force unless you've got the credibility and you're relatively corrupt free. what are the -- since we're now taking over the training and especially of the police force, and i've been there several times and i've heard all sorts of anecdotal stories that talks about the dismay of our ability to do so, we're taking over complete training of the police force right now, is that
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correct? >> nato training in afghanistan is part of that. the whole coalition is doing that, sir. >> okay. but are these people with police backgrounds training the police or military training the police? are we going to end up with a paramilitary police force? >> it's a combination. policemen have been hired, european partners, and some military as well. >> ambassador, back to you, on the smart power issue, and i'm a big proponent of that, i've talked with the secretary of state about this. we saw the investments of the housing that got involved in corruption and $8 million, other anecdotal stories where money has been wasted, housing has been occupied, it's been substandard. what efforts are we pursuing to protect those kinds of investments in infrastructure? >> we have many, let me highlight two. first of all, in terms of how we're contracting, we think we're designing contracts in a much better way than improved
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performance and transparency. second, in terms of audit and oversight, have many means for that. i want to emphasize that we think the most important is exactly with the united states congress. as you know, you have the special investigator for afghanistan reconstruction, which provides oversight for d.o.d. and state and usaid efforts. we think it's a -- >> quickly, mr. ambassador, are you familiar with the hospital in kabul? >> sir, i am not. >> okay. i want to make you aware of that. it's a success story that has not -- we've not participated in but americans made it happen. >> we'll get with you on that, sir. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from florida is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, gentlemen, for our extraordinary service to our nation. general mcchrystal, in response to senator mccain's question the other day about the inability to defeat al qaeda unless bin laden is captured, did you mean there
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will be u.s. presence until bin laden is captured and can your plan ever fully succeed if bin laden is not captured? >> congressman, thanks for the opportunity to expand on that. it was a very short quinn in a long hearing. i believe al qaeda can be defeated overall but i believe it's an ideology and he is an iconic leader. so i think to complete the destruction of that organization it does mean he needs to be brought to justice. it will be another of the steps. however, i don't believe that simply getting him ends that organization either. i think it's one step in it. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. >> let me -- thank you for this hearing. also, let me just say i do remember very clearly those who didn't have the opportunity to speak would be in that order of priority. so thank you again very much. i want to welcome and thank our witnesses. and just say to you that i have
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to say as the daughter of a military veteran, 25 years, served in world war ii and in korea, i strongly support our troops. i want to thank all of who are here with us today for your sacrifices and your service. and my belief that the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform should always be acknowledged and honored. let me just say from the get-go i think many of you may know that i opposed the war in afghanistan from day one for many reasons. but now moving ahead, many of our military national security experts agree that the presence of our troops continue to full the insurgency in afghanistan and give resonance to al qaeda recruiters around the globe. i also happen to believe that and disagree respectfully
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disagree with this overall prior eight-year strategy and the strategy today. i was glad to hear you respond because i was going to ask you about osama bin laden if, in fact, his capture is part of the strategy and a benchmark in terms of the success or failure of this effort. but let me ask you, how does it increasingly expand for united states troops in afghanistan serve united states national security interests in combatting al qaeda if it feels anti-american sentiment among populations sympathetic to extremists, insurgents in afghanistan and pakistan, somalia, yemen and elsewhere in the world? let me also say many have said, and you probably disagree but i would like to hear your response to this, to complete this mission will require about 400,000 to $500,000, possibly 8 to 10 years, possibly a
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trillion dollars. do you believe that to be the case or not or why do we hear that so often now? finally let me just say i'm extremely concerned about the strain on our military members and their families. in the face of this expanded indeficit commitment in afghanistan, the physical, psychological and logistical strain in the u.s. armed forces under the stress of two wars to me seems to be untenable. so just know that we're going to do everything here to support our troops and to help them transition back hopefully soon to life with their families. but i'm very concerned about the stress and strain it's taken. >> congresswoman, thanks for the support of the troops and know how much it's ap slated, particularly this time of year. to step back, in terms of our national interests, the veent destruction of al qaeda is
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get the afghan national -- >> the anti-american sentiment that is spurred by this in pakistan and yemen and somalia and other parts of the world, you try to nip it in the bud here, it pops up somewhere else. >> it's a danger. one of the greatest resentments is their perception that we deserted them in 1989 when the russians pulled out, we ended our involvement with them. and they believe that we walked away from them. i think it is a balance. i think we need to give as much help as they need to get on their feet and i think we need to help them stand by themselves. >> the time for the gentle lady has expired. the gentleman from california has graciously agreed to one
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minute. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman -- >> no, no, elton is son for five minutes. >> i have one minute. i have like 52 seconds left. i would like to say general and ambassador, thank you for your service. i know you face challenges that are in some people's views very difficult, if not more so from alexander the great to the soviet union. i appreciate the job you're doing. and we want to try to give you all the support that we can here. as a member of the intelligence committee, i have little insight about some of the challenges that you have that maybe others don't know. but i would like to take my remaining time and yield to the gentleman from california, row backer. >> ten seconds. >> mr. chairman, it is my
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understanding that those who did not get a chance to ask questions would get five minutes. >> time for the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from tennessee. >> point of parliamentary inquiry. >> state your point. >> is that point that i just made not correct? >> the point -- mr. gallagher was entitled to five minutes. -- just listen for a second. i was told that he sought one minute. i am now recognizing -- i now recognize the only person left in this committee who, unlike you, has not had a chance to speak at the gentleman from tennessee, mr. -- gentleman from tennessee -- >> point of parliamentary inquiry. point of parliamentary inquiry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> point of parliamentary inquiry. >> yes, sir. >> do you think this has turned out fair? >> i think because of ju it hasn't.
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>> the gentleman from tennessee, five minutes. >> thank you, thank you very much, mr. chairman. general ike enberg, it's awfully good to see you again and i remember many of our visits to brussels with nato parliamently assembly. general mcchrystal, i appreciate your conversation with me on the phone at the last nato pa meeting. i see and am very encouraged by the reaction of the nato parliamentarian members at the last meeting a couple, three weeks ago in edinburough, there's a new spirit and cooperation, i think for the first time in several years. it's my impression, to use a football analogy, that they realize and have no problem with the united states being the quarterback of nato, they'd just like to be in the huddle when the play is called. you, and i think the administration, have done a good job of including them in the muddle. it makes a tremendous amount of
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difference, let me say, in the attitude and the atmosphere where all of these parliamentarians from member nations gather. as a president of that organization for the next year, i want to thank you both for doing that. i would encourage you every way you can to always speak of this as a coalition led by and not us going it alone. i think -- i was on active duty during the vietnam days and i saw the critical mass of public support necessary for a prolonged overseas deployment sort of just fritter away, and i've been worried that that would be the case in europe. and we have, of course, some people here with our situation in terms of our own economics. but it's important in my judgment to maintain this critical mass of public support for the coalition. so anything you all can do,
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including reiterate from time to time that we're not there to westernize anybody. we got off the beam in iraq talking about we're going to create this western style democracy. it won't work. we're not there to westernize afghanistan in my view, and i think that appeals to the european allies and nato. we're there to enable the afghani people and their institutions to say no to taliban and al qaeda. that's why we're there. if they can do that and we can limit the sphere of influence that this poisonous philosophy has and hopefully limit it to an area where we can monitor and contain it, hopefully it will wither and die like a plant without water. two questions real quick. on the civilian surge, talking with some of my colleagues and people who have been there, there seems to be a bottleneck
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on the civilian side with respect to getting projects actually on the ground. you get people there, but they can't get through the maze of okays. i know we were stolen blind in iraq sometimes because we didn't have some protections. if you could really take a close look, both of you, at the coordination of the commanders, the serb money and how that can be streamlined with the civilian money and coordinated, i would encourage you to do that, because i think that is -- both of you have said, is a critical part of our success. the other thing i would like to talk about is the reintegrati reintegration -- i think general petraeus talked about it yesterday. i knew him when he was at ft. campbell in our district. i think that is down the line
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maybe a part of it. i would be encouraged to have your insight into what you think the chances of that are. the state of play in pakistan, of course, is a large, large part of this, particularly if we're going to try to contain on the border in some fiscal manner, physical manner, these bad guys so that we can monitor and contain their sphere of influence if that's possible. and then finally, is there any thinking about what will happen if we pull back into the more populated areas in terms of our concentration of troops? how do we maintain in the rural areas the security that necessarily brings up? i know i've talked about a lot. it's really great to see you again, general eikenberry.
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>> i will try to answer that in the three seconds here -- >> i think important questions to be unfortunately answered at some other point because our time has expired, and we only -- we have zero time remaining on the clock on the floor. gentleman from arizona for one minute. >> i thank the chairman. sorry if this is ground that's been plowed. general jones less than two months ago, just around two months ago grave a pretty rosie assessment of the situation there, stating there were fewer than a hundred al qaeda members in afghanistan at present, that there was a diminished capability of the taliban to destabilize the government. the question i have is 18 months from now will we be in a better position than that? or maybe you disagree with the assessment in the first place. general mcchrystal, do you have a comment there? >> i outlined in my initial
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assessment my view of the situation. and i think that it is improved slightly since that was published. i think we'll be in a much better place 18 months from now. >> ambassador eikenberry, any comment from you? >> i share general mcchrystal's assessment there, congressman. >> thank you. time for the gentleman has expired. our prayers are with you for your success. ambassador? >> i wonder, congressman, if you'd give me one minute here, not in response, just one point i wanted to make. >> i think we owe it to you. >> with your permission. >> absolutely. this is not an effort to keep us from voting on the floor though, is it? >> no, it's not. chairman, a lot has been said over the course of the morning about the great sacrifice of our men and women in uniform and our allies. i also wanted to say for the record just to emphasize the
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sacrifice that our great civilian team is making on the ground. on the 13th of october we had two civilians, one from usaid, travis gardner, 38 years old from nebraska, and jim green from the department of agriculture, 55 years old from oklahoma, they were in a convoy with the united states military in a striker unit, their convoy was hit by ieds. i always make a point when i learn of that kind of trauma that our civilians are facing, giving them a kauchlt i gave them a call both that night and asked how they were doing. they said they're doing great and they said that, very humbly, and with great sincerity, we're just doing what we were sent over here to be doing. and we couldn't be more proud of our civilian force on the ground, too. >> yes. thank you, gentlemen. mr. chairman, thank you so much. some of our members would like to submit some questions to our great panelists. >> we thank you both very much.
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our prayers really are with you for the success solve these efforts. with that the hearing is adjourned.
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